Happiness and contentment in life come from the merging of Opportunity and Talent. My Dad had Talent but no Opportunity so could not find a way to learn to play the Violin. I had Opportunity but no Talent -- I lack the physical ability to complete a Thru Hike of the Appalachian Trail. I failed to learn this lesson even after numerous section hikes, but in the Spring of 2013, after 41.6 miles hiking in MD and PA, I learned the lesson that Dad had in mind when he told me to "hike the Trail." This Blog is now about the Merging of Opportunity and Talent more than it is about hiking the Appalachian Trail, but I still plan to include snippets of the Trail in the Blog. It's about Chasing the Trail of Life. I hope you enjoy my posts.

COMPUTER TRESPASS---RCW 9A.52.110---Computer trespass in the first degree.

(1) A person is guilty of computer trespass in the first degree if the person, without authorization, intentionally gains access to a computer system or electronic database of another; and (a) The access is made with the intent to commit another crime; or (b) The violation involves a computer or database maintained by a government agency.

(2) Computer trespass in the first degree is a class C felony.

This Blog is Dedicated to my Dad. Although he never accomplished his dream of learning to play the Violin, he did construct and play a Dulcimer at an Elderhostel.

Monday, July 29, 2013

It's Not a Walk in the Woods When Someone Gets Hurt or Dies

This is what I have been trying to explain to those planning to hike the Appalachian Trail and to Appalachian Trail hikers. It's NOT a walk in the woods, it's a DANGEROUS endeavor. And it may be 'the last thing you do.'

Searchers Puzzled Why Hiker, Geraldine "inchworm" Largay Vanished

Wardens Narrow Search Area

Read the articles and look at the photos in the second article.

When you hike the AT or any trail, you take your own life in your hands.  YES, I love hiking and backpacking, and YES, I am well aware of the dangers.  Do I want it to be 'the last thing I do in life?'  NO!  One of the many reasons I got off the Trail when I was hurt was so that I would not push myself while in pain and make a regrettable decision.  You may decide to ruin your health over a hike, but I didn't.

Some will comment, if it turns out that this woman has died on the Trail, that she 'died doing what she loved' and I will ask 'REALLY?'  Don't you think she'd have rather died at a later date?  Don't you think she had other things she was planning to do before she died?  What about her husband?  Do you think he wants to remember his wife 'died doing what she wanted to do' rather than their living a long happy life together?  What about her children, grandchildren, family and friends?  Do you not think that ALL of them will be second guessing themselves for the rest of their natural lives for not saying something that might have saved her life?  "Take another day off, you're tired" or "Don't worry about any deadlines" or "If it gets dark, just stop and camp beside the Trail" or "Carry those maps, even if they weigh 6 extra ounces, they may come in handy" or "The AT can be confusing around all those snow-mobile and backwoods and ski trails, be sure to check your maps and blazes often."  And what about the rescuers?  Their time, effort, expense, and then the trauma if they find her dead?   It's not all about that Romanticized Version of Dying on the Trail.

Resign from the Mystic Order of the Appalachian Trail and come live in reality.

What are you going to say to Geraldine's distraught family?  "Well, at least she had fun before she died?"  I doubt that will help them come to closure.  And I personally think it is very unkind and selfish if that's your first thought.

My first thought is ...

Dear God, Geraldine has been missing for over a week, please help the rescuers locate her or her body.  Please be with her family and comfort them.  Please help open the eyes of the hiking community to the reality of the dangers of hiking.  Please help everyone to be more honest and truthful in reporting about their hikes, especially their Appalachian Trail hikes.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Photo from front porch

Mom asked for a clearer photo. 

If you look carefully you can see the barn. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Nostalgia and Peace

Since my last post, a lot has transpired. 

My hike was cut short by my knees and then my camping trip to the Shenandoah Mountains was shortened by a day due to sub 28* weather.  I returned to my Mom's apartment and was there for my Mom exactly when she needed me. The timing was impeccable -- as if orchestrated by an Unseen Force.  My brother spent time sharing with me, which was inspiring and good.  I got to go kayaking on the Monacacy River with him and his family -- trip planner was my niece -- and had a great time. 

While at my Mom's my Best Friend from North Georgia called. Her tenant had moved out and her Cabin in the Mountains was available if I wanted to rent it.  I said I do!  

So on July first, I got a second chance to live in the North Georgia Mountains. Not everyone gets an opportunity to return to a pleasant place to live.  I'm sitting on the porch as I write this -- night noises, crickets, rain dripping from trees, sky mellowing into night, lightening bugs.  Earlier, BFF's dh [dear husband] brought me a handful of fresh blueberries from the garden beside the cabin.  I'll put them in my oatmeal in the morning. There are apples ripening on the tree beside the blueberry bush.  

I'm surrounded by pines and hardwoods.   The horse pasture is just beyond the trees and the barn has faded from sight  and blended in with the trees beyond it. 

Hymns are playing on my CD player. 

I opened one of my AT Hike Maildrop boxes [I have 5 more to open] and put the food in the cupboard. It was the Port Clinton, PA, box -- I expected to be there on May 23.  That seems like a lifetime ago. And in a sense, it was. Do I regret salvaging my knee and getting off the Trail? Honestly -- no.  I've had plenty of time to search my heart -- I have looked at my answers to Zach Davis' questions [Appalachian Trials - see previous posts] -- I've reflected, I've pondered, I've prayed -- and I have no regrets.  I believe I have learned what Dad wanted me to know when he told me to hike the Trail.  And I am still learning.  

Tonight, I am in that place of peace and contentment.  Everything is not "perfect" in my life, by any means.  I wax nostalgic about my kids and grand kids and great grandson -- I wonder how they are. 

Ah, the music has stopped and the rain has started -- perfect timing to bid the reader a gentle goodnight for now. 

Porch in the daytime.